Phase change in a three-dimensional rectangular cavity under electromagnetically simulated low gravity: Side wall heating

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



In this paper, a low gravity environment has been simulated numerically, via an electromagnetic field, by studying the transport phenomena associated with the melting of an electrically conducting phase change material (gallium) inside a three-dimensional enclosure. Both transverse electric and magnetic fields are used to generate a Lorentz force, which is used to counteract the effects of gravity and thus simulate low gravity. The problem is formulated as one-domain by employing an enthalpy-based transformation of the energy equation. The governing equations are then discretized using a control-volume-based finite difference scheme. The results show that the application of an electromagnetic filed can be used to simulate key melting characteristics found for actual low gravity. However, the resulting three-dimensional flow field in the melted region differs from actual low gravity. The application of an electromagnetic field creates a flow phenomenon not found in actual low gravity or previously seen in two-dimensional problems. While these distortions do exist when an electromagnetic field is applied, their intensity is significantly lower than the distortions found when only a magnetic filed is applied. Since these distortions are of much lower intensity, it can be said that low gravity can be simulated better by an electromagnetic field. Copyright © 2004 by ASME.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference 2004, HT/FED 2004


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